I must admit I found this finger-crossing action somewhat creepy the first time I noticed K doing it last week. Mind you, he was locked in his high chair, wailing “Help!” and biting his arm! I thought it was some kind of spasm (more likely he had an itch he couldn’t quite scratch), but he’s been randomly twisting up these two fingers ever since.
Without question, I’m my kid’s best friend right now.
“Here, Mommy!”…He insists, stuffing a car (or five) in my hand.
“Whatchu doing, Mommy?”…He inquires, looking into my eyes while sitting on my lap.
“Where are you, Mommy?”…He shouts, moments after I’ve told him I’m heading to the next room.
“Mommy-Mami-Ami-Ami-Ami-Ami!”…He chants when he needs me and no one else will do.
Even while writing this, K has wedged himself between me and the laptop—checking in now and again for cuddle time.
In these moments, I recall the word samatha (Pali/Sanskrit for “calm-abiding“) and the practice I’ve adopted to touch that quality: stopping. breathing. looking. listening.
So I accept the cars. I explain what I’m doing (talking to you, drinking coffee, reading a book). I report my location. I respond to his moment of distress as soon as it is possible and reassure him with hugs, kisses and my full attention that I am here for him.
Then from that place of calm, I can laugh and remind K that he does in fact have a father…who is often waiting nearby with arms wide open to receive him.
to tv: Imagination, ¡Actívate! This morning I overheard K giggling and telling Diego to kick the ball. When I peeked in the room, he was talking…to a tiny picture…on the back cover of a Wonder Pets book.
Bonus: He can distinguish a llama from a horse and a camel; we’re learning Spanish; and I dig kids’ programming with primary goals.
not to tv: Um, I got nothing at the moment but reserve the right to update this.
Can you guess what was in his diaper at the time?! (OH! Adding to the madness + magic, this, of all songs, actually came on my Pandora Sade station: music for this moment of madness + magic.) Thank heavens he had never actually used it for its intended purpose! Until…*
*BREAKING NEWS: Surprise, surprise! K had some serious movement (as in: major toddler milestone) this morning & will no longer be allowed to play with his pot!
“Whether standing or walking, sitting or lying, as long as we are awake, we should maintain this mindfulness of love in our own heart. This is the noblest way of living.” ~ from the Metta Sutta
Motherhood and meditation seem absurdly paired in the same sentence, so how in the world do we ever find the time for solitude, silence & sitting?!
It’s not required.
Being present wholeheartedly to our experiences with our children and families is the way we live our meditation.
Whenever we can relax, breathe, and accept life as it is…
Wait. Are you laughing? Rolling your eyes? Trust, I know! There are times when we wanna throw a tantrum right along with our toddler because we can’t get a damn thing done in the time we want to do it.
So how do we practice accepting “life as it is” in the heat of those most challenging moments?
By simply stopping. Taking a breath. Looking closely at the situation (and the choices we’ve made to arrive there) with a sense of compassion. Being willing to embrace the frustration along with the fun that inevitably unfolds whenever we are with are children.
From this space of calm, we can learn to celebrate the victory of each breath and, in turn, breathe our full attention into each moment shared with our child. Then we may truly experience motherhood as a walking, strolling, running, stair-climbing, leaf-gathering meditation.
[originally posted: 11 nov 2011, blog: all of life is yoga]